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Leicester City and all their fans were stunned by the news of the death of star defender John Sjoberg, aged 67, on 2 October, 2008, after a short illness.The Aberdonian was a City stalwart in every respect from 1958 to 1973 and formed a formidable partnership with Graham Cross at the heart of the Foxes defence.Although Scottish born, his surname led to the inevitable nickname 'The Swede'.He was initially shuttled between right-back and central defence until the arrival of Peter Rodriguez who took the full-back position.Sjoberg signed from Scottish junior club Banks O'Dee in August 1958 and went on to make 412 appearances overall, weighing in with 19 goals before, in 1973, moving to Rotherham.He played only half-a-dozen games at the Yorkshire club before retiring to start his own printing business in Leicester.Sjoberg made his debut for City in a 2-1 victory at Cardiff in October 1960 and played in every round of the 1962-63 FA Cup, including the final at Wembley, where City lost 3-1 to a Manchester United side including Bobby Charlton and Denis Law.The following season Sjoberg played in both legs of the League Cup final in which City won their first major trophy by beating Stoke City 4-3 on aggregate.He also appeared in both legs of the final in the 1964-65 campaign but City lost 3-2 on aggregate to Chelsea. After playing in all the earlier rounds, injury ruled Sjoberg out of the City side who lost 1-0 to Manchester City in the 1969 FA Cup final.Sjoberg bridged the Matt Gillies era with the Bloomfield Boys.Alan Birchenall, one of Bloomfield's team, played with Sjoberg for two seasons after joining City from Crystal Palace. He fondly remembers Sjoberg's uncompromising approach to the game and said: "John, or the Swede, as we used to call him, was a stalwart alongside Graham Cross at centre-half when I arrived and he really was as hard as nails."He was quite a quiet lad off the field and was a real family man. But, on it, he was very hard but fair and would never shirk a tackle. He gave his all for this club and will be sadly missed by everyone connected with the club, especially the Bloomfield Boys."Sjoberg, a member of the Past Players' Association, had been a regular visitor on match days to the Walkers Stadium.Birchenall added: "I saw him at the first game of the 2008/09 season. John always had a smile on his face and was always very keen to know what was going on behind the scenes. I am totally shocked and my heart goes out to his wife Cynthia and his family and friends during this difficult time."
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Viewed by: 4750 visitors. Uploaded: 10 years ago
Published in: Online.
Published from: October 08, 2008.
Region: National
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When I was a young boy my cousin took me to Filbert Street for the first time, and John Sjoberg was in the Leicester City team that day. The Big Number 5. Consequently he became one of my football heroes, along with the other City players of that time. John was a tough, brave, no-nonsense centre half, and a tower of strength in the Leicester defence alongside Graham Cross.Many years later, in my job as a graphic artist, I had the pleasure of meeting John several times, as he was the MD of Beaumanor Press. He was always a charming man – very happy to chat with me about football, and eventually I got him to autograph the programme from that first match – a 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers in 1969.I was very sad to hear of John's death. He was a lovely man and will always be remembered by Leicester fans of a certain age, as a true City Legend. Rest in Peace John. God Bless You.
Left by Carl Dineen: 25/03/2009
RIP John.You have left us all with great memories and added greatly to the history of Leicester City Football Club.
Left by Paul Tompkins: 20/10/2008
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